‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Filmmakers Finally Talk About ‘Leaks’

And.…here we go. Zero Dark Thirty, director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal’s movie about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, got its first public showing on Sunday in Los Angeles and early reviews are incredibly positive.

Bigelow and Boal were interviewed last night on ABC’s Nightline. Correspondent Martha Radditz called the movie “riveting” and gave the duo a chance to deny accusations that their screenplay was based on illegally leaked classified information.

The filmmakers tie their story to the experiences of a female CIA operative they call “Maya” in the film. She seems to be based on the same woman who figures so prominently in the “Mark Owen” book No Easy Day. Bigelow is one of our best action directors and early reports suggest her movie is a sober, unemotional take on the subject that emphasizes military process over patriotism.

Not everyone wants to see a movie like this get made and a whole lot of folks don’t like the fact that it’s impossible to make any kind of based-on-a-true story film without taking liberties with specific details. I look at it this way: Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a fantastic movie that tells us a lot about American history and the messy behind-the-scenes horse trading that creates our laws. Does everything shown on screen represent an accurate portrayal of exactly how the 14th Amendment got passed? Of course not, but the filmmakers use real-life events as a frame to make a compelling work of art about the American character.

The Abbottabad raid might be a little to close to the present day for some of you to see it that way, but the nearly real-time arrival of this movie (less than 19 months after the actual event) represents a creative risk that might yield something amazing. We’ll find out in a few weeks when the movie hits theaters.

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6 Comments

  1. John D says:

    I hope that this new movie is more realistic than “The Hurt Locker” I worked w/ EOD in Baghdad. They weren’t on their own, driving around they were not loose cannons. If any EOD tech acted like the hero, he would have been gone. The real teams went out w/ fire power support, medical support and other teams of troops. They were not alone! Very unrealistic.

    • Anthony P says:

      I agree with John D, “The Hurt Locker” although a great movie, wasn’t accurate to the portrayal of EOD in Iraq. But what can you expect from hollywood, sometimes changing things around brings in more money.

  2. Jake S. says:

    “The Hurt Locker” was an entertaining movie, not a great one.
    It was a completely unrealistic portrayal of EOD. It was a sensationalistic fabrication of how EOD operated in OIF. ONLY because the SAG is a bunch of self-important narcissists was it & its director awarded Oscars.
    Their POV was, if we reward a (fairly) commercially successful movie about Iraq with an Oscar, then we are by extension, rewarding ourselves.
    Soulless ********.

  3. Jeff M says:

    Look at the photo Above, I question why it looks like the seal is wearing two pairs of NVG on his helmet. I think this will turn out the same way the hurt locker did. With the civies loving it, and all those serving or that have served calling BS

    • Rolly R says:

      @Jeff, that’s the latest in NVG technology, at least at the time SEAL Team 6 raided OBL’s compound. The 4-lens NVGs have a wider field of vision compared to just 2-lens. I heard a ST6 member say it gives them 180 degree FOV.

  4. Jack Gabel says:

    agitprop — Ms Bigelow might well be get the first Leni Riefenstahl award